Naspers to Sell Stakes in Two Czech Companies for $201 Million

Naspers Ltd., Africa’s biggest company by market value, is selling stakes in two Internet companies in the Czech Republic for $201 million after an aborted attempt to create an e-commerce platform across Central and Eastern Europe.

The disposal of stakes in Netretail, an online shopping company, and Heureka, a price-comparison website, to Czech investment company Rockaway Capital comes after a failure to merge the former with Romanian Internet group eMAG, Cape Town-based Naspers said in a statement on Monday. The media company has decided to focus on eMAG as it’s online-retail platform in the region, it said.

“Diverging strategic views prevented the merger from being completed,” Naspers said, without providing further detail. Naspers said its other businesses in the region are unaffected by the disposal.

Naspers, the owner of Africa’s biggest pay-TV service, has expanded through acquisitions of stakes in early-stage technology companies in emerging markets around the world. The company owns a 34 percent shareholding in Tencent Holdings Ltd. of Hong Kong, and on Friday agreed to buy a majority stake in Russia’s largest classifieds site Avito for $1.2 billion.

The shares advanced 0.2 percent to 2034.15 rand as of 9:30 a.m. in Johannesburg, valuing the company at 855 billion rand ($63 billion).

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